Children & Young People Opinion

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) Young Champions: Empowering Youth, Transforming Care

Jill Morrell, Head of Public Engagement and Involvement, Care Quality Commission 

Jill Morrell, Head of Public Engagement and Involvement, Care Quality Commission 

Following the launch of the CQC 2021 strategy, “A new strategy for the changing world of health and social care”, the CQC has been working to deliver regulation driven by people’s needs and experiences of care. This means focusing on what matters to the public, and to local communities, when they access, use, and move between services.

To help us do this, CQC is partnering with more local organisations and charities who work directly with people in communities who are more likely to experience poorer care and inequalities. CQC knows that it needs to do more to hear from children and young people who use health and care services. In their State of Care report (2022), CQC identified that mental health services are struggling to meet the increasing needs of children and young people.

Through its contract with Choice Support, CQC runs its flagship “Experts by Experience programme” which enables people with lived experience to work with CQC on its inspections, in co design and many other ways. Choice Support’s partner organisation, Participation People has been delivering a project for almost a year to recruit and manage a panel of young champions who use health and social care services from across England to come and work with CQC. The young people have been supported to steer, challenge, and bring their unique perspective to help embed change in CQC. The group have been working with CQC teams in different areas including data and insight, human rights and children’s services regulation.  CQC hopes this work will help to promote awareness of CQC amongst younger people and encourage them to give feedback on experiences of care, helping CQC to regulate services more effectively.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) Young Champions are a diverse group of young people who are making a real difference to the way CQC approaches regulating services for children and young people. The project has already recruited 50 passionate individuals who meet both online and in person. They provide invaluable insight on a range of topics, offering a fresh perspective and inspiring positive change across the health and care sector.

Let’s hear directly from some of the Young Champions, and understand why they joined this transformative initiative:

Riona, motivated by a desire to understand the healthcare system in England and listen to her peers’ experiences, explains, “To listen to other young people’s experiences and get to know how the healthcare system operates.”



Harrison, committed to raising standards for people with genetic disabilities, emphasizes, “To help improve standards for people with genetic disabilities.”



Insha, inspired by her chronically ill family members, highlights the need to address the current disarray in the healthcare system, stating, “I have chronically ill family members, and I see the need to change the disarray in the current healthcare system.”



Afrah, driven by the goal of improving the quality of healthcare services offered, shares, “To improve the quality of healthcare services offered.”




The dedication, passion, and commitment of the CQC Young Champions has been very powerful and inspiring for all CQC colleagues who have worked with group so far. They are not only amplifying their own voices but also supporting change in CQC.


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